Note: If an email to me is not obvious, I have no choice but to delete. I am hoping this is just some dingaling in the cafe downloading music, that is causing me so much internet problems.
I am in the Internet Cafe and waiting, hoping I am able to at least empty my email box and send one post on the blog, the internet is so slow I am not sure what to do, I am sure at this speed I will have lots of troubles with writing people.
The computers, the office, the desks, are all very modern, the connection is slow, I hope I can return early in the day and it will be faster.
Niamey the Capital is interesting, it appears every save the world organization is here, I have seen many Toyota Land Rovers and this is out of place, however normal for the save the world crowd.
The girls home I am staying at works for some organization and this type of NGO or whatnot seems to be one of the going business occupations in the city as every corner has signs pointing at some organization. I will try to understand.
NOTE - The connection takes about 3 minutes per page, very difficult to read or write emails so far, maybe I can find a better connction, the strange part are the computers are all XP and very modern, the telephone connection seems horrible.
Arrived to Niamey Niger
9:30 AM Friday September 2, 2005
(The time is wrong, I do not know the time, I have changed so many time so quickly, I am only presently telling you so consistency.)
I am Niamey, Niger the Capital of Niger and I am pretty sure the biggest city in Niger, I believe the only place with an International Airport.
What great luck I have, as normal.
I entered the Airport from the plane and cleared the customs, and other strange characters disguised as official looking baggage carriers. The cost of the Taxi to the city was supposed to be 8 U.S. Dollars, which is maybe 5000 Niger French Francs, some CFM or some acronym for the money.
One Euro = 670 Niger money
Ok, nonetheless I walked up to the only Western faces in the bunch, which translates to she was a white girl with clear like eyes, more of the French look, a very nice girl by the name of Sara with two very happy men, I guess from Niger. I asked, -Do you know a Hotel?-
She recommended a place she knew about, however I guess she has never stayed in a Hotel or Hostel here, a place that she said is the equivalent to the American Peace Corp; however, it is the French Peace Corp place.
AFVP on Maurice-Dezens (Street or Rue- Streets seem to go by the French name or Rue.)
I then asked how much a taxi was to the city. She said, -500 or maximum of 1000- This is again in the Niger Franc, so not a lot of money, at best three dollars U.S., not much but the Taxi Drivers and the Skycaps or Baggage Carriers were pushy, not easy to deal with, they have this copy of Arabic Culture thing of saying, -Follow me.-
I have learned many times, do not follow, it is a mistake, it is an implied gesture by me, that I accept their help, and I now will owe them money, they then to the guilt extortion of money routine.
The baggage carrying guy inside or before I left wanted 20 Euros for walking with me, and annoying me, of course I paid nothing, I had no bags for him to carry, I only have my carryon, and he should pay me for annoying me.
YELLOW FEVER CARD REQUIRED I did not do my homework good, or was so focused on the Visa; I forgot to read the checklist of needs. There was a guy at the entrance that wanted a Yellow Fever Card or the card showing I had a short of vaccination for Yellow Fever, he did not accept that I got this in Ecuador, before I went into Brazil a few years ago, although I was telling him, - I got the shot before, so you can allow me in if you wish because I am not a health problem and I am from America, I am not coming in from some Yellow Fever country -
NOTE: He said, there is a Penalty. The penalty was 20 Euros, which I instantly paid and walked away, no receipt and happy to be away from this problem for only 20 Euros, I expected it could be as much as he wished to extract. 20 Euros was cheap as the shot would have cost me at least 12 Euros and hours of hassle in Egypt, so I was way ahead of the game.
Sara I was told by Sara and friends that the cost of the Taxi was 1000 Niger Francs to the city, and everyone wanted 10,000 or minimum of 5,000, and she saw I was having trouble getting them below 5,000 so in the end, she looked at me about 10 minutes later as I was not going to pay 5,000 for a fare they said, max was 1,000 and I was in the game of offering 2,000 or double what they said was fair.
I was ready to go up to 3,000 when Sara came over and said she did not own the car but they could maybe take me to the city and drop me off where then I could easily get a car for 400 to the Hotel or Hostel. I do not know the status of Hotels here, is it a proper Hostel or a Hotel, I do not know.
I was willing to go to the acronym Hostel because she said it had a kitchen for me to cook, plus a bunch of Volunteers is what I need to learn about Niger Fast.
The girl or owner of the car finally arrived after she received here bags off the baggage carousel, I did not have a bag checked so I was on the fast track. However it was a girl I had said hello to in English before with very beautiful kinky black hair and western clothes, so I recognized the face, this was a good sign, she knew I was friendly before she was to take me to the city for free.
We went to the acronym hotel and they was full, then they took me down the road to what was suppose to be a Dutch hotel, they did not answer the door, all of this took longer, because I left out a lot of small stops.
We dropped off Sara and boyfriend from Niger at her home or concrete surrounded home. Most of the places I have seen are big steel swinging door places, where there is a concrete wall around the house and then a door that swings open in from the middle to allow a car to enter the compound. A very typical under-developed country method of protecting the home, cars and valuables.
It was about 2:30 AM in the morning, after midnight and very late, strangely when we very lightly tapped on the steel gates people came and talked with us, the guard at the acronym or French acronym Hotel came and told us about the other place, etc.
Finally my host or the great girl that arrived from Canada. Mother from Burkina Faso Father from Canada
She said, - I have an extra room; you can sleep there, besides I want to go to sleep.-
So here, I am lying in my own room, a mosquito net over my head, a double bed made of the biggest piece of foam I seem in years, very comfy and nice, with a barred window.
The place or home is wonderful, a great home feeling. Modern and it has a guard or someone that came to the gate immediately when we drove up to enter.
Very modern for by developing standards. Examples: - Mosquito screens on the barred windows - This is extremely rare to see a screen on a window anywhere in the world except the USA.
- French douche thing in the toilet. - Painting on the walls of the home.
This is a wonderful place, I now have the bedroom door opened, hoping for the wonderful girl to come out from hibernation. She came from Canada and this could be anytime, because she has, -Jet Lag-
I am sure her times should be mixed up. NO QUOTATION MARKS I am getting rid or going to try to stop typing in the little double hash marks called quotations marks, I am going to replace with on each end with the dash - Hello -
Because the quotations marks are turning into Chinese letters or some maybe, Arabic letters on these computers of Africa or Egypt. I really do not need this type of letter in my letters, blogs, or missives or whatnot and will take days and months to remove.
The would not be there if I was able use my computer directly or connect direct, however I will and 90 percent of the time connect with my thumb drive memory stick and then open the notepad to copy and paste into the blogger.com system. The opening of the notepad in the African or Arabic computer is when the little blips or non-English type characters pop into, enter or invade the pages.
Bottom line: Notepad from the Microsoft System or a text editor is NOT the same worldwide; it is dependent or related to the languages being used on the local internet computer.
Just when you thought my grammar, punctuation, and spelling was bad, it gets worst. This really makes me happy, I like to annoy people sometimes, I want them to think - outside the box - I want people to try to learn to see the essential facts or feeling I am trying to explain and stay away from the extreme specifics, they have to understand the gist to learn while traveling.
The very beautiful host of mine may speak a local language as here native language learned French as the language of the country and is speaking English as a courtesy to me, she is good in English or in my view, and she is exceptionally good in English. She knows the word - stuffy - as in the room is - stuffy - I would never learn this word first when learning French, these isolated words are the clues to level of language fluency, up there with understanding jokes and watching TV- oops Television, I need to not use acronyms in the same blog as I am complaining about them.
Mosquito screens are signs of development, a sign of not being developed are we stopped and purchase water on the way home last night, when the locals buy water not a good sign.
CURBS I was in this small car, probably French as France has their hands way up the skirts of Africa, and we were driving very slow… (Not normal for poorer countries, normal is as fast as possible.) in addition, going down very wide streets, maybe a four lanes or six-lane street, not a highway a city street, this is also very rare, most streets in developing countries cluttered. I keep remembering from the passenger side view as we were close to the edge of the dirt streets, there were -curbs- concrete curbs or there were places where I could define the edge of the streets, like they had already put in the curbs and now was waiting to put in or ready to put in concrete or maybe asphalt roads. This is good, streets with curbs, sewers maybe and all that is need for good sanitary conditions in a city.
I read the other night there was a Uranium mining time of prosperity for Niger, so this country had the equivalent of a Gold Rush, however with Uranium.
Black People Country 2:18 PM Thursday, September 1, 2005
I am in the Casablanca, Morocco Airport, I have a four hour wait, darn I really do not know, however I supposedly arrived at about 11:40 AM, and now I for sure have four hours. I am in what I call “No-Mans-Land.”
This means I have not entered the passport country of Morocco and actually entered legally the country, however I am in the Country of Morocco and will never have a stamp, however I am here, I am not in Niger and I am no in Egypt, I am literally in Morocco however not totally.
I am walking around airport trying to find an internet café or maybe an ATM, I want to get some more Euros to carry into the country. I may actually enter Morocco legally if I find the ATM or Bank Machine will issue Euros. I have not found an Internet Café, I will check the wireless, however I will not pay with a credit card, so worthless.
However it has hit me, I am going to my first Black People Country, this will be maybe I think the first country where people are very black, I am sure they have few others, however the will be pure race of black people. This is really going to be great; I have never seen a whole country. The reason this is now obvious is there are many Black Africans sitting around the Airport, in fact I also need to learn French, the girl next me does not speak English, does not want Snickers I purchased and I do not know how to say.
What country are you from?
I did however save here seat, some group of people just came up and tried to move her stuff and take the seat, I save the chair. I now know the name of chair is “Chaise.”
I studied French for one year in University however have never really needed it, or wanted to use it however I think I am going to have a 19 day French Lesson, I do not expect anyone to speak English in Niger.
Do you know the Black people are Blacker in Africa; there was so much diluting of the Race in the Slaves that the color is usually less black or maybe closer to cream sometimes, according to how much those masters had sex with their slaves.
I am sure I will step on a few toes, however let us not talk about culture or say the obvious, this is a great trip, and I am getting very excited.